Now in its 16th year, Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival™ highlights the best features, shorts, and student shorts from across the country. The breadth of programming selected by filmmakers, programmers, critics, and industry professionals represents the creative strength of the country’s best cinema.
Wednesday, March 1 / 7 pm
Thursday, March 2 / 9 pm
Saturday, March 4 / 9:15 pm
Sunday, March 5 / 3 pm
A hit at last year’s Gimme Some Truth, director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril examines with heartbreaking effect the impact of seal hunting protests on Inuit communities in Canada and around the world.
Thursday, March 2 / 7 pm
Saturday, March 4 / 3 pm & 7 pm
Sunday, March 5 / 7 pm
March 4, 7 pm screening introduced by Zacharias Kunuk.
Ten years after winning the award for his epic feature Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, Inuit filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk and his collaborator Natar Ungalaaq return with a new feature which uses the plot of John Ford’s 1956 western The Searchers as inspiration for a very different kind of revenge story. An Inuk man and his band of followers (Maliglutit) set out across the barren Arctic in search of the marauders who have ransacked his home and kidnapped his wife.
Friday, March 10 / 9 pm
Sunday, March 12 / 3 pm
Timely, uncompromising, and devastating, this film raises deeply troubling questions about how we teach boys to become adults, particularly within the context of our national obsession: hockey. A new recruit on the minor-league Prince George Warriors inadvertently injures another player and soon discovers the family he grew up with is a lot more self-serving and cutthroat than he had thought.
Those Who Make Revolution Halfway, Only Dig Their Own Graves (Ceux qui font les révolutions à moitié n’ont fait que se creuser un tombeau)
Friday, March 17 / 7 pm
Saturday & Sunday, March 18 & 19 / 3 pm
Winner of Best Canadian Feature at last year’s TIFF, this stunningly imaginative three-hour epic was one of the highlights of the entire festival. The film is inspired by the directors’ speculations about Quebec’s massive 2012 student demonstrations.
It’s Only the End of the World (Juste la fin du monde)
Saturday & Sunday, March 18 & 19 / 7 pm
Quebec boy wonder Xavier Dolan, director of Mommy, returns once again with a film of electrifying family dynamics. Winner of the Grand Prix at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, this film is a magnificent and thunderous drama about home and familial roots. Louis is a terminally ill writer who returns home to tell his family he is dying. His arrival precipitates chaos. His mother (Nathalie Baye) has tried to keep her family together despite their struggles in the wake of Louis’ departure.
Friday, March 31 / 9:15 pm
Saturday, April 1 / 3 pm
The second feature from Nathan Morlando more than delivers on the promise of his debut Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster which won Best Canadian Feature at TIFF in 2011. The life of teenaged Jonas is dominated by his father’s struggle to keep the family afloat.
Old Stone (Lao Shi)
Friday & Saturday, April 7 & 8 / 9:15 pm
Sunday, April 9 / 3 pm
This impressive feature debut takes us on an unnerving trip through China’s social strata. For taxi driver Lao Shai (Chen Gang in an extraordinary performance) every day of work is a fight for his family’s basic economic survival. One day swerving his car—because his arm was grabbed by a drunken passenger—he accidently hits a motorcyclist. Plunged into a bureaucratic nightmare and faced with financial ruin he is forced to embrace retribution as his only escape.
Window Horses (The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming)
Thursday & Friday, April 13 & 14 / 7 pm
Saturday, April 15 / 3 pm & 9 pm
Anne Marie Fleming, one of Canada’s most beloved animators is back with an extraordinary tale of art, history, and family. Rosie is a young Canadian poet of Chinese and Persian descent living in Vancouver with her overprotective but loving Chinese grandparents. An invitation to a poetry festival in Shiraz rocks her boat, and though she has never travelled on her own, she decides to embark on a trip that will change her life.
Thursday & Friday, April 13 & 14 / 9 pm
Saturday, April 15 / 7 pm
Saturday, April 22 / 7 pm
Sunday, April 23 / 3 pm
In 2001, one of the most controversial writers in Quebec history, Nelly Arcan, published Putain (Whore), a tale of prostitution based on her own experience in the trade and it caused a sensation in literary circles. Émond’s onscreen Nelly is a composite of Arcan’s many personas and fictional characters and is brought to life in an astonishing performance by Mylène Mackay.
Friday & Saturday, April 28 & 29 / 7 pm
The hardscrabble existence of two homeless addicts is portrayed with sensitivity and brutal honesty in acclaimed filmmaker Ashley McKenzie’s debut feature. Sleeping in tents; fighting with government bureaucrats; Blaise and Vanessa survive primarily through an underground economy.
CANADA’S TOP TEN SHORTS
Selected by a panel of filmmakers, programmers, and industry professionals, these three programs of Top Ten Shorts feature a diverse group of great films.
PART ONE | Saturday, March 25 / 3 pm
Introduced by Winnipeg Film Group Production Centre Director, Ben Williams.
This program includes animator Theodore Ushev’s gorgeously crafted animated film Blind Vaysha (nominated for an Academy Award).
PART TWO | Sunday, March 26 / 3 pm
The second program features Terril Calder’s stop motion animated film SNIP, two kids escape the horrors of a residential school through a time portal, and Nova Scotia filmmaker Heather Young’s Fish, a devastating portrait of a woman raising three infant children.
STUDENT SHORTS | Sunday, April 2 / 3 pm
Panel to follow on making short films with Solmund MacPherson, Kristin Snowbird, Morgan Traa, Charlene Moore, Kevin Tabachnick and Dinae Robinson.
This program includes innovative work from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Concordia and Ryerson University.
Generously sponsored by IATSE 856.